MJBizDaily reports that under new state law, cannabis companies in Nevada are planning to open cannabis consumption lounges for tourists in 2022. This will mark the first time there will be legal locations for tourists buying cannabis products in the retail stores of Las Vegas to smoke, vape, dab, eat, or otherwise consume their cannabis in public.
This is a particularly important development for cannabis-loving travelers to Las Vegas because no cannabis consumption is permitted in any of the city’s many casinos or approximately 150,000 hotel rooms. Although the city relies on tourism and attracted over 42 million visitors in 2019, cannabis sales to tourists have not kept pace for obvious reasons.
Now, it seems likely that cannabis sales will rise with the help of consumption lounges which both tourists and locals will likely visit.
In June 2021, a bill making cannabis consumption lounges legal was approved by state legislators and then signed into law by Governor Steve Sisolak. Thanks to the new law, Nevada allows on-site consumption of recreational cannabis along with eight other states.
There will be two types of business licenses for consumption lounges under the law.
One kind will allow cannabis retailers to open consumption lounges on their retail premises. The other kind will allow holders to open stand-alone lounges that will be more like bars that sell alcohol, limited to single-use products. Neither type, however, will be permitted to sell alcohol.
The Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board (CCB) will be setting rules and regulating cannabis consumption lounges, although they are not final yet. Meanwhile, the State of Nevada has established several guidelines.
No one person can hold both kinds of licenses. The one-time, non-refundable application fee for an independent lounge is $10,000, and for a retail cannabis consumption lounge, it is $100,000.
The CBC plans to issue the first cannabis consumption lounge licenses in early to mid-2022. 10 of the first 20 licenses issued to independent cannabis consumption lounges must be awarded to social equity applicants who have been adversely impacted by the criminalization of cannabis.
Various cannabis retailers are planning to take advantage of the new law. Like clubs that charge more for the experience and ambiance, cannabis consumption lounges won’t be allowing people to “BYOC” and will probably charge premium prices for their products.
They also plan to provide an upscale experience for travelers, with outdoor balconies and lounges, and even an indoor splash pool planned by one business. Ultimately many in the Las Vegas cannabis industry feel they are about to change the game for themselves and anyone who loves cannabis as the city becomes the ultimate cannabis consumption lounge destination.